Salima Begum, a Pakistani teacher born in remote village of Gilgit-Baltistan, has made it to the top ten finalists of Global Teacher Prize 2017.
The Global Teacher Prize is a one million dollar award for an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.
Salima is going up against finalists from Jamaica, Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Australia, Kenya and China for the US $1 million award.
Though her own education has been marred by lack of resources, she strongly believes in students ‘constructing’ meaning for themselves through the information they receive, and holds that classroom activities should correspond closely to real-life situations. Currently, she teaches in Elementary College for Women in Gilgit.
“Throughout her career, Salima has contributed to teacher training, instructing more than 7,000 teachers across her province, and 8,000 more throughout Pakistan through the education reform programme,” reads information about her bio posted on Global Teacher Prize website.
The United States Agency for International Development has acknowledged her contribution to their Teacher Education project, and she has also published a number of research articles. Her leadership has resulted in her being made head teacher of her school, and under her guidance students have performed exceptionally well in official examinations, resulting in an increase in enrolment in her school.
Salima has adopted the technique of developing students’ local wisdom and to make students brainstorm about their contribution to society with their knowledge.
Developing ethical, moral and social values in her students has been top of her priority list. For example, she designed and implemented an environmental project with her children and the local community, to produce organic fertilizers which was a great success, the website said.